Got your tickets to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015? If not, you can still scout for them on the ICC website here. We’re using ours to plan a proper road trip around New Zealand, starting in Nelson, moving up the coast of the South Island before using the interislander to get over to Wellington and to follow the Black Caps around the northeast coast up to Auckland.
Here’s everything you need to know for the stadium stop-off route around New Zealand:
1. Christchurch (BLACKCAPS v Sri Lanka)
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Kick off a romantic weekend with the match on the Saturday, before exploring the rest of Christchurch on the Sunday. It’s one of the most ‘English’ cities in the country, so take a punt down the Avon River before tucking into a pub lunch and settling into one of the cosy hotels on the coast line. Wake up, and get ready to move onto the next destination!
2. Dunedin (BLACKCAPS v Scotland)
University Oval, Dunedin
The first Scots arrived here in 1848, so it makes sense for them to return for the Black Caps game against Scotland. You might think it’d be quiet with the game ending on a Tuesday evening, but the presence of both the Scots and the students can lead to only one thing – a night of beers (and whisky). Take the next day to chill out and relax, and walk around the beautiful Otago Peninsula.
Read more: 7 best breaks in New Zealand
3. Wellington (BLACKCAPS v England)
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Post-cricket pub crawls start in Courtenay Place in one of the many pubs or cocktail bars around the area – alternatively, try out the indie joints on Cuba Street for a few alternative bars. You’ll be returning the next day for brunch at Floriditas – there’s no better hangover food than the mashed avocado on toast.
You now have a week to spend exploring NZ before the next match in Auckland, so try one of these drive routes around the North Island and make sure you get up to Coromandel for a bite-sized beach break!
Read more: 10 most picturesque hotels in New Zealand
Photo credit: Jason Milich
4. Auckland (BLACKCAPS v Australia)
Eden Park, Auckland
This might be the biggest game of them all, taking on the Aussies and David Warner’s winning streak. Make the most of being in the city and stay in one of the aparthotels in the centre, taking advantage of the shopping and the sunshine on your doorstep. If you’re a beachbum, you should definitely check out Piha Beach on the west coast.
Photo credit: Jason Milich
5. Napier (BLACKCAPS v Afghanistan)
McLean Park, Napier
Foodies will be happy with this one; Napier has the best produce of both the coast and country in the farmer’s markets and artisan shops around the city. It’s perfect for a weekend break – leave the car at the hotel and get to know the produce of the local vineyards a little bit better!
Read more: 8 of the best vineyards in New Zealand
6. Hamilton (BLACKCAPS v Bangladesh)
Seddon Park, Hamilton
This is the last stop on the Black Caps tour of New Zealand for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, so you can be sure it’ll be a big night out after the game. If you don’t fancy joining the crowds, head to the coast for a night in one of Raglan’s cottages and rent out a surfboard for a few days – it’s a quiet sanctuary compared to some of the city breaks on the Stadium tour of the ICC World Cup.
The roadtrip finishes in Hamilton, but some car rental companies have branches in both Nelson and Hamilton. If you’re taking the car back to Hamilton, why not go southwest in the North Island and try your hand at surfing in Raglan?
Read more: 10 best road trips in New Zealand if you need some inspiration!